“Four years and one month ago, Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake,” said David Belle, CEO of nonprofit Artists for Peace and Justice, in his opening remarks. “The power of which was equivalent to an atomic bomb.”
On Thursday night at the Sunset Tower Hotel, stars played dominoes (really!) to benefit the AFPJ to help build schools in Haiti. Partnering with Bovet 1822, Hollywood Domino hosted its seventh annual pre-Oscar gala and tournament, hosted by Paul Haggis, Pascal Raffy, Maria Bello, Jon Hamm, Kevin Jonas and Hollywood Domino founder Daya Fernandez.
While talking about his experiences in Haiti, Belle also touched upon discussions he had with Haitians about how to promote long-term, enduring change.
“And their answer unanimously and unambiguously was education, education, education,” Belle said.
Haggis took to the stage to talk about how the AFPJ does nothing compared to the work the Haitians put in.
“It’s staggering how quickly they build these schools. Every time we turn around there’s a new building,” Haggis said.
Haggis also fundraised by asking guests to promise certain amounts of money — ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 — every year for five years. Bovet 1822 promised $5 million over five years.
Guests including Kate Beckinsale, Omar Epps, Columbus Short, Vanessa Hudgens and Adrien Brody enjoyed a set by Rumer Willis and N8+ Jazz Band. Beckinsale was spotted smoking a cigarette and hanging out with Short while Hamm took to the domino table to play a round.